Another fine day.

Trip Start Apr 02, 2012
Trip End Oct 31, 2012

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Where I stayed
On board Charis overlooking the treetops.

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday 10th 
4 miles
Often, our walk to church on a Sunday can be as long as my walk to find a newspaper but at least we have foreknowledge of where the churches are. The one we selected for today was supposed to be a mile from our mooring. The place and church name was described as Odd Rode, All Saints and could be found on Church Lane. I went out before dinner yesterday in order to make sure I could locate it and check the service times. The walk took me down the main road of the village (Scholar Green), to a larger road and into a smaller road by the name of Church Lane. So far so good. Half way along this very long road there were no houses to be seen and I appeared to be in the middle of nowhere. I was beginning to think I was in the wrong place when I saw a house through the trees. The house was labelled, Odd Rode Rectory. Aaah. Still no sign of a church. I rang the bell and asked the friendly young lady who answered the door for directions. She told me it was further along the road (which was uphill). It was the same distance I'd already walked up Church Lane and finally I got there. It was the right church and All Age Family Worship was at 10.30 the following morning. I just could not understand how a church could function in the middle of nowhere. I was imagining 2 or 3 wealthy elderly ladies arriving by car and that we would possibly double the congregation in the morning. All sorts of ideas were running through my mind about what the service would actually be like. I don't know if anyone else pre judges events before they happen but I certainly had my own ideas formed before I returned home.

We left home at 9.50 this morning so we would have plenty of time to get to church and were warmly welcomed by Julian at the door who I easily got into conversation with. We found seats near the front (there were only a few elderly ladies there at that time) and an elderly man was at the piano playing a few well known worship songs before the service began. A lady by the name of Pam came and spoke to us, apologising for the fact that it was a family service, the rector was away on holiday and we had her leading and preaching that day. It was actually a very good service. Lots of thought had been put into the prayers and the talk and Pam led it very warmly. Lots of people had come in after us and we stayed for refreshments (which we only do if we feel comfortable) and lots of people came and talked with us, including Julian who answered more of my questions about the church. The church building is only 160 years old although it looks older. It was built by the family who lived in the big house close by called Rode Hall because the nearest church to them was too far for the family to get to. When talking with Pam after the service  we told her that our friend Margaret, who was preaching at St Stephen's in Islington that day, sent greetings from Islington and she asked me to sent back to St Stephens, greetings from All Saints. So I hope you got that Margaret. Interestingly, one of the things Pam said during her talk was about not judging others. OK God. I will try very hard not to pre judge church services or their congregations in the future.

After the walk back from church we set off on Charis in lovely warm weather and ate our lunch as we went along. The weather has remained wonderful and I am sitting on the front deck in glorious evening sunshine at 6.30, typing this. We have a perfect mooring.  The view is spectacular. We appear to be above the surrounding countryside as we are level with the tree tops on both sides of the canal although away in the distance, the hills are higher than us. We are getting close to the Peak District. I went for a little walk this afternoon and discovered the Biddulph Valley Way just fifty yards away and down some steps. For over  100 years, trains have travelled along this valley, carrying coal from the Potteries to Congleton. The train is no longer there but the valley is and walkers, cyclists and horse riders enjoy its tranquility. Bryan and I were sitting outside on the bank later and got talking with a lady with a black labrador who told us the river along this valley was flooded just two days ago though it is back to normal today. (Just had to go and rescue a dog who was swimming in the canal and had got wedged between our boat and the bank).
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